A slim majority of 1,400 surveyed employers of various sizes expect to continue their group medical plans when online state insurance exchanges become operational in 2014, even if the exchanges offer competitively priced rates. Many of the employers were undecided.

The insurance exchanges are mandated under the Accountable Care Act (health care reform). New York-based Willis Group Holdings, an insurance broker, conducted the survey with help from Diamond Management & Technology Consultants Inc., Chicago. While 52 percent of respondents expect to maintain their coverage, 33 percent aren't sure and 12 percent are somewhat or not at all likely to continue coverage.

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